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Basic RightsSubsistence, Affluence, and U.S. Foreign Policy: 40th Anniversary Edition$
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Henry Shue

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691202280

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691202280.001.0001

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Nationality and Responsibility

Nationality and Responsibility

(p.131) 6 Nationality and Responsibility
Basic Rights

Henry Shue

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores the argument that it cannot be anyone's responsibility to fulfill the rights of strangers on the other side of the globe, however much responsibility one may have to the deprived within one's own country. The core of this view can be called the thesis that compatriots take priority—take it at least in the case of duties to aid. The view need not completely deny that there are universal subsistence rights, but it does deny that any correlative duties to aid are universal, or even transnational. The view that compatriots take priority might accept the priority principle but restrict its application to the nation of the bearer of the duty. The chapter then surveys some of the major kinds of reasons offered for taking national boundaries so very seriously in what is fundamentally a moral issue, and indicates very briefly some reasons for doubt about each kind.

Keywords:   responsibility, compatriots, subsistence rights, duties to aid, correlative duties, priority principle, national boundaries

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